It’s Kona’s first appearance on the pages of The Spoken, and what a bike for the Canadian marque to make its debut! This 1998 Kona Humuhumu turned up in Paris and was dutifully made over by Simon Taulelle and his mates at La Bicyclette.
Surprisingly, after more than 30 years in the game, Kona is still owned by its founders, Vancouver’s Dan Gerhard, and Jacob Heilbron, although Kona’s headquarters are based in Ferndale, Washington.
Back in the 90s, Kona made some of the industry’s most desirable bikes — from their steel hardtails to their plush, Dr. Dew-designed Stab, and Stinky full-sussers — thanks in part to their tropically-inspired marketing and their A-list pro riders.
Names like Tracy Moseley, Scott Beaumont, Greg Minnaar, Ryder Hesjedal, Steve Peat, and the legendary Joe Murray have all been counted on the Kona team register, and their colorful bikes and kit blazed out at us from the pages of Dirt Magazine.
One of Kona’s most beloved models was the rigid steel Humuhumu, first released in 1992. It was basically designed as a pub bike, a blend of BMX and klunker geometries and sensibilities.
Simon Taulelle acquired the Kona Humuhumu a few years ago from a very good friend who worked in a bike shop at the time, already highly spec’d, but built it up as you see it here with help from the crew at La Bicyclette in Paris.
Previously a mountain biker, Simon was riding a ‘dale CAAD10 but felt drawn back to the mud. The Humuhumu fit the bill, but a White Industries ENO Double Double drivetrain completed it, along with Nitto’s Bullmoose bars and a pair of Onza Canis tires.
It’s still doing the job it was made for: blasting a few trails in the morning with the purity of a single speed, and carrying Simon home from the bar in the evenings after a few drinks with his mates. It proves the timelessness and quality of Kona’s design.
Massive thanks to Matthieu Lifschitz for the superb photography.
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